Durban Reality Tour


Title Durban Reality Tour
Director(s) Pamela Ngwenya
Date released (year) 2009
Production company Malinga Productions
Length 28 mins
Location Durban, South Africa
Keywords/tags Dumping, toxic waste,   sustainability, informal settlements
Link to film

Durban Reality Tour from Pamela Ngwenya on Vimeo.

Synopsis On 4th November 2009, the Centre for Civil   Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal led a tour of Durban that conveys   the gritty reality faced by ordinary Durbanites. This video documents the   highlights of the tour, including the ‘toxic’ South Durban Industrial Basin,   the tented community of Crossmoor and, on a more positive note, the   development of an organic community garden and biodigester in the township of   Cato Manor.
Reviews/discussion When critically‑minded people   visit Durban and seek out a ‘reality tour’ typically denied by the mainstream   tourist circuit, one of the stops is the Centre for Civil Society at the   University of KwaZulu‑Natal. Located at the highest point in Durban (the top   floors of Memorial Tower Building in Glenwood), the Centre introduces   sympathetic visitors to the work of leading social activists and environmentalists.   The sites that kombi‑taxis arranged by CCS reach include an inner‑city tense   with resistance to xenophobia and gentrification, the largest petrochemical complex   in a residential area in Africa, a variety of shack settlements and working‑class   ‘African’, ‘Indian’ and ‘coloured’ neighbourhoods, the hotly‑contested source   of Durban’s water at Inanda Dam, and the university environs.


John Vidal   in Durban,, Tuesday   6 December 2011: Why south   Durban stinks of rotten cabbage, eggs and cat wee

In the ‘centre of   toxic Africa’, residents say they can identify nausea, drowsiness, vomiting   and headaches by industrial sources.

There’s the metaphorical whiff of diplomats burning the midnight oil to   find a deal at the the UN climate talks. But 5km away in south Durban, the   air really does smell of rotten cabbage, cat wee and almonds.

With two crude oil refineries, South Africa‘s two biggest paper   mills, its biggest container port, a dozen chemical companies, several major   landfill sites and a huge number of factories together producing 80% of South Africa‘s oil   products and much of its industrial emissions, south Durban locals have   learned to identify the coughs, nausea, drowsiness, vomiting and headaches   they suffer by their sources.

Oil companies are said to create a stink of a cocktail of rotten eggs and   burned matches, a carworks reeks of ethanol and the vinegar smell comes from   a leather company.



South African   Environmental Justice struggles against “toxic” petrochemical   industries in South Durban: The Engen Refinery Case

This   case study explores the South Durban community’s struggle against   disproportionate exposure to a hazardous environment and sulphur dioxide   pollution, and at the same time, being faced with “clear and   present” health hazards linked to petrochemical industrial production.   To unpack the environmental justice challenges facing post-apartheid South   Africa, the case study examines the role played by the South Durban Community   Environmental Alliance in articulating environmental injustices and poor   environmental responsibility of the petrochemical industry in South Africa.


Links to other resources Africa’s Biggest Landfill Site: The Case Of Bisasar   Road | by Patrick Bond and Khadija Sharife:–by-patrick-bond-and-khadija-sharife